◆英語タイトル：PIEZOELECTRIC ACTUATORS AND MOTORS - TYPES, APPLICATIONS, NEW DEVELOPMENTS, INDUSTRY STRUCTURE AND GLOBAL MARKETS
◆発行会社/調査会社：iRAP (Innovative Research and Products)
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Piezoelectric actuators convert electrical energy into a mechanical displacement or stress using a piezoelectric effect. Since piezoelectric elements have excellent responsiveness and conversion efficiency from electrical energy to mechanical energy, various types of piezoelectric actuators utilizing the piezoelectric effect of piezoelectric elements have been developed in recent years. A piezoelectric actuator, which utilizes the piezoelectricity of crystal, has been used widely in a high precision positioning mechanism, since it can control a mechanical displacement at high speed. Piezoelectric actuators have the advantage of a high actuating precision and a fast reaction. Such actuators are components with a high electrical capacity, whereby only part of the electrical energy supplied to the actuators is converted to mechanical energy.
Applications for piezoelectric actuators and motors are based on the purposes and methods of use of systems to which they are applied. The new report has segmented the applications into eight distinct categories.
Piezoelectric actuators are developing into a large component market. Market pull is generated by
- high demand for ultra-small scale precision motion devices used in manufacturing and inspection equipment, high volume, low cost autofocus assemblies required in phone cameras, and high volume, moderate cost ink printing cartridges used in printers.
- demand for microactuator medical tools used in minimally invasive surgery and micro-grippers required in manufacturing microsized objects such as stents; and
- demand for dynamically-driven, high temperature actuators for diesel injector valves in automobiles.
Cost, yield and reliability are important concerns for each of these applications. A number of these concerns relate to basic material science issues in the manufacture of the piezoelectric actuators for these targeted, diversified applications.
This report also deals with ultrasonic motors (USMs) that belong to the class of piezoelectric motors. Due to their specific advantages compared to conventional electromagnetic motors, USMs fill a gap in certain actuato applications. A key advantage of USMs over electromagnetic motors is their compactness, i.e., their high stall torque-mass ratio and high torque at low rotational speed, often making speed-reducing gears superfluous.
Piezoelectric actuators are deemed good candidates for applications that require fine precision, low overall volume and mass, fast time response, low power consumption and low electromagnetic interferences. Piezoelectric actuators are widely used in the semiconductor and microelectronics industries, biology, optics, photonics, telecommunications, and metrology. Typical applications range from gene manipulation, vibration cancellation, fiber optic alignment, machine-tool alignment, and active damping, to hydraulic servo valves, shockwave generation, image stabilization, and wafer-mask alignment.
A confluence of new piezo-based technology has breathed new capability into the nano- and micropositioning world. Piezoelectric actuators are widely used in the semiconductor and microelectronics industries, biology, optics, photonics, telecommunications, and metrology. More specifically, piezoelectric actuators and motors have been widely applied to eight distinct application areas, including:
- high-precision micron to nanoscale motion-related applications;
- autofocus mechanism (AFM) kits in phone and digital cameras;
- microscope applications for image stabilization and autofocus;
- automotive fuel injectors;
- accurate fluid flow applications such as micropumps, piezo valves and microblowers;
- piezo ink cartridges used in printers;
- medical/surgical instruments and portable ultrasonic diagnostic devices; and
- miscellaneous applications such as mini-robots (used as micro air vehicles and unmanned air vehicles), hard disk drives, textile engineering, Braille reading devices, active vibration reduction devices, MEMS piezo actuators, and others.
Piezomotors and actuators typically eliminate any need for gear reduction because they drive loads directly. One way to understand how a piezomotor generates motive force is to examine the SQUIGGLE® motor. It can move with 1,000 times more precision than an electromagnetic motor while hitting nanometer resolutions. In contrast, electromagnetic motors struggle to give micrometer resolution.
Piezo actuation is increasingly suitable for applications formerly addressable only by magnetic motors, and the technology offers significant benefits in terms of size, speed, fieldless-ness, reliability, vacuum compatibility, resolution and dynamics. These benefits, in turn, enable significant advances in existing and new applications. Examples of these applications abound. For instance, optical assemblies of escalating sophistication require multiple axes of nanoprecision alignment that must remain aligned for months of round-the-clock usage. Another example is emerging nano-imprint lithography methods which demand exacting positioning and trajectory control and must retain alignment integrity under significant physical and thermal stresses. Applications range from cell phone cameras to endoscopy and fluid delivery mechanisms, requiring exceedingly small but stiff, responsive, and reliable positioning of optics, probes and shutters. Until recently, these conflicting requirements had no solution.
Major findings of this report are:
- The 2013 global market for piezoelectric operated actuators and motors was estimated to be $11.1 billion, and the market is estimated to reach $16 billion by 2018, showing an compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.7% per year.
- The market for piezoelectric-operated actuators and motors in micron- to nanoscale (ultra-small scale precision motion) related applications will be the largest segment in 2013 and projected to grow with a CAGR of 7.6%.
- The second big segment is autofocus mechanism (AFM) kits used in phone cameras and digital cameras..
- The third major segment includes microscope lenses autofocus and zoom mirror adjustment, image stabilization for ultra-precision imaging and resolution enhancement which is estimated to grow with a higher CAGR of 15.3%.
- The remaining is a market mix segment consisting of fuel injectors used in automotives, micropumps, piezo valves, microblowers, piezo ink cartridges used in printers, medical surgery instruments, portable ultrasonic diagnostic devices-mini-robots (used as micro air vehicles), unmanned air vehicles), hard disk drives, textile engineering, Braille reading devices, active vibration reduction devices (e.g., adoptronics), MEMS piezo actuators and similar products.
- Industrial and manufacturing is still the largest application market for piezoelectric devices, followed by the automotive industry. However, the strongest demand comes from medical instruments and information and telecommunication, which are gaining ever increasing importance among piezoelectric device suppliers.
- The manufacturers of optics, photonics and nanometrology equipment have been the major consumers of piezoelectric-operated motors and actuators.
- In terms of types, bulk PZT material-based piezo actuators and motors have the highest market share.
- In terms of regional market share, North America leads, followed by Europe, Japan, and the balance for China and the rest of the world.